Solar at AMP
Interested in generating your own clean and renewable electricity with solar to offset your electricity demand? Alameda Municipal Power (AMP) provides informational resources to residents and businesses interested in installing a solar system.
Is Solar Right For You?
As you are considering a solar installation, ask the following questions. Click on questions below to expand the section for more information.
By making energy efficiency upgrades to your home, you can potentially save thousands of dollars.
Reducing your electrical energy usage reduces the size of the solar system that you will need to offset all of your usage which will reduce the cost of the system.
If you are interested in installing solar, you will need to consider the conditions of your roof. You will need to consider:
Obstructions that cause shade on your roof such as trees. Shaded roofs that are not suitable for solar.
- The direction the roof faces
North facing roofs receive the least amount of sunlight throughout the day and are the least ideal.
- The age is the roof and the material of the roof
Roofs that need to be replaced soon and have shake or tile shingles are not able to structurally support a solar installation.
Solar installations can be expensive. Check for incentives and rebates that are offered.
- AMP currently offers a $500 rebate for income qualified customers who are installing solar. Learn more at alamedamp.com/rebates.
- AMP will waive the residential interconnection fee ($330) for homes built before January 1, 2020.
- The state of California is currently offering a Federal Tax Credit for the installation solar systems. Learn more at:
Solar installers have several financing options for you to choose from.
1. Cash: Purchase with cash or a loan
2. Lease: Similar to leasing a car, pay monthly for the use of the equipment
3. Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): Long term contract agreeing to purchase the power generated by the solar system at a fixed dollar amount per kWh
While you aren’t required to work with a contractor to install your generation system, there are many benefits to having a professional assist you with the process. A qualified, licensed contractor can:
- Help you select and install the most productive generating system for your property.
- Walk through financing options.
- Submit the necessary technical information to the city's permit department.
- Submit your interconnection application to Alameda Municipal Power.
- Ensure your system is interconnected safely to the grid. Provide warranty, maintenance and repair options.
How to Find a Contractor
There are many solar contractors working in the area that can be easily found online. You can use any contractor you like, but be sure you know who you are working with.
Understand Your Contractor's Qualifications
- Your contractor must have an active A, B, C-10 or C-46 license.
- Check the Contractors' State License Board (CSLB) website or call 1-800-321-2752 to verify.
- When you meet the contractor for the first time, ask to see his or her Contractor's State License Board (CSLB) pocket license and a photo identification to confirm you are meeting with an authorized contractor.
Expand your Options - Request and Compare Multiple Bids
To ensure you are getting the best deal, request and compare bids from at least three solar contractors. When comparing bids, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Each bid should suggest a similar-sized system. If size differs greatly, you will want to ask why.
- Cost may vary from contractor to contractor, but you can follow the Goldilocks principle when comparing prices.
- A low bid may be a red flag that the contractor is cutting corners; similarly, a high bid can mean an unnecessarily oversized system.
Remember, you have the right to ask questions. If there is anything you do not understand about the bids, your contractor, or their business, do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
Solar Compensation and Billing
AMP customers who install solar systems are placed on the Eligible Renewable Generation (ERG) plan. Customers on the ERG plan will receive a bill credit for the excess energy that is delivered to AMP’s power grid. To learn more about the ERG plan, visit AMP’s Solar Compensation & Billing page.
The installation and interconnection of your solar PV system is a cooperative partnership resulting in a greener future for Alameda. It is a collaborative effort between you, your solar contractor, and AMP. Learn about the interconnection process in greater depth by visiting AMP’s interconnection process page.